It's hard to predict what the Chicago Bears offense will look like with 116 year-old Todd Collins at the quarterback position. The Vegas odds are probably on "ugly". But sometimes a team needs to win a game ugly to remind themselves they can. I think Sunday is one of those days when the 2010 Bears channel my favorite Bears team of the recent memory, the 2005 Bears.
- I always like the Chicago Bears.
- Even with Todd Collins at QB, the Bears should be able to move the ball down the field by going to short routes and screens. Mike Martz is a clever enough coordinator to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers without risking the brain of his quarterback.
- That being said, I think the Bears will have a quick hook with Collins. If he looks like he's dragging himself up and down the field, Lovie will turn to Caleb Hanie. Having seen both on Sunday night in-person, Hanie had 10-15 more MPH on his fastball.
- I think Devin Hester has an 8-10 catch game, over 100 yards and a touchdown. He plays like Steve Smith Sunday.
- The Panthers will obviously commit to the run game and the Bears will commit to stopping the run. (I see Chris Harris playing almost a fourth linebacker position.) Look for Jimmy Clausen to try and get the ball to David Gettis in one-on-ones on the outside. I don't doubt that it'll lead to some annoying third-down conversions but I can't see it striking for six points.
- It seems every time these teams play, Jeff King makes a big catch over the middle. Anybody who knows me knows Jeff King is on my All Jeff Hughes NFL Team.
- Two good kickers and punters. Mike Goodson is a dangerous return man for them but our kick/punt return combo is as good as there is. I hate playing John Fox teams because John Fox teams care about their specials. (I'm hoping not to be leading the John Fox as next Bears coach bandwagon at the end of the year.)
- Jimmy Clausen looked lost against a good Bengals defense and slightly less lost against a mediocre Saints defense. He's not faced a player like Julius Peppers, who Jerome Bettis think is the without-question defensive player of the year. He's not faced linebackers like Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher. I think he's going to make some big mistakes.
Chicago Bears 20, Carolina Panthers 12